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Posted on: March 29, 2022

Contractor Scam Alert

Contractor Scam Alert

The City of Rancho Palos Verdes has been made aware of homeowners falling victim to contractor “scams” in which they were fraudulently billed fees for non-existent or fake City building permits. The City would like to provide residents with tips to protect themselves from such individuals.

Many homeowners don’t know what kind of work requires a permit, or what a permit looks like. Below are steps you can take to verify the legitimacy of your contractor and permits.

How can I verify that my contractor is state-licensed?

You can look up your contractor’s license with the California Contractors State License Board at cslb.ca.gov or by calling 800-321-2752. Then, verify that your contractor has a photo ID that matches the name on their license.

How can I verify that my contractor has a business license with the City of Rancho Palos Verdes?

You can find a list of active business licenses on the City website at the following link: https://www.rpvca.gov/677/Business-License-List 

How do I know if my project needs a permit?

You can determine what kind of work requires a permit from the City at the following link: https://www.rpvca.gov/1452/Do-I-Need-a-Permit

How can I tell if my permit is valid?

Valid permits will be listed in the City’s permit database. You can conduct a permit search on the City website at the following link: https://etrakit.rpvca.gov/eTRAKiT/Search/permit.aspx

Additionally, an authentic permit will have a valid permit ID or record number. Fake and real examples are shown below.

FAKE PERMIT RECEIPT

Fake Permit Receipt

Record#: In the example above, 20BLD-1472 is NOT the sequence of numbers and letters the City uses when issuing permits.


VALID PERMIT 
Valid Permit

Roofing permit numbers will always start with RERF followed by the current year and the number in sequence.

Residential Remodel permit numbers will always start with RES followed by the current year and the number in sequence

Building permit numbers will always start with BLD followed by the current year and the number in sequence.




What do I do if I’m not sure?

If you are unsure about the validity of your building permit, or if you have any questions, please contact the City’s Building and Safety Division at 310-544-5280. 

For additional contractor scam tips, download a Tip Sheet (PDF) from the City website.

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